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Old 03-07-2013, 02:13 AM   #1
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Default What is the one piece of add-on equipment you couldn't live without

I'm talking, equipment you didn't buy at the beginning, wasn't in any starter kits, and you had no idea would be as useful as it is.

Reason I'm asking is I'm getting into brewing and I have about $500 I want to pump into equipment. I've done a lot of research and everything I want adds up to less than $500, so I want to see what else I can buy that will make my entry into home brewing that much more enjoyable.


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Old 03-07-2013, 02:15 AM   #2
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I am really liking my refractometer for measuring SG, OG on the fly and using far less liquid. Plus I feel like a scientist. Got mine on Amazon for about 20 bucks.


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Old 03-07-2013, 02:19 AM   #3
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Temperature controlled ferm chamber. Simply irreplaceable in terms of contribution to beer quality IMO.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osagedr View Post
Temperature controlled ferm chamber. Simply irreplaceable in terms of contribution to beer quality IMO.
What kind of chamber do you have? Homebuilt? What do you think of some of the electric thermal pads/wraps they have for carboys?
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:25 AM   #5
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It's a toss-up between keg system, ferm chamber, and a pump
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:26 AM   #6
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What kind of chamber do you have? Homebuilt? What do you think of some of the electric thermal pads/wraps they have for carboys?
I have an old 15 cf chest freezer from Craigslist with a Johnson A419 controller; total cost < $200. Anything that will reliably keep your temp at the desired range should be fine.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
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In my case, beyond the starter kit, and after brewing a few batches in order of acquiring was;

Wort Chiller,
Oxygen System
Refractometer

If you're only doing extract an refractometer isn't really important, but regardless of whether it's ag or extract the first two are invaluable.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:29 AM   #8
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I don't usually see auto-siphons included in equipment kits, but that's one thing I got right away and couldn't do without. I second the temp controlled ferm chamber, controlling fermentation temperature is the single improvement I've made that has the biggest impact on the finished product.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osagedr View Post
I have an old 15 cf chest freezer from Craigslist with a Johnson A419 controller; total cost < $200. Anything that will reliably keep your temp at the desired range should be fine.
I have an old reliable Gibson 20 w/Johnson controller. At the moment, I have two 15g+ fermenters, two carboys aging imp stouts, a corny and some bottles fitting comfortably in it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ktblunden View Post
I don't usually see auto-siphons included in equipment kits, but that's one thing I got right away and couldn't do without.
Mine came with one, but yeah, I think that one would rank in priority on my list even above what I posted.


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